CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith said linebacker Brian Urlacher was returning to practice on Monday, and has “made a lot of progress” in his recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his injured knee.
Urlacher, who injured his knee in the final game of last season, underwent arthorscopic surgery last month and has not practiced since July 31.
Smith told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday that Urlacher will return to practice on Monday, and is still expected to be ready for the regular season opener on Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.
LISTEN: Lovie Smith on with Josh Liss
“The plan is for Brian to practice this week. We have a practice today. I know I’ve seen him working on the side. He’s made a lot of progress,” Smith said. “We expect him to be on the field, and play well for us.”
Smith, entering his ninth season as Bears head coach, said he’s excited about the upcoming season, especially with the offseason upgrades to the offense.
“I’ve been blessed to be the coach for such a great franchise, and we’re just excited to get this new season underway,” Smith said.
Smith said he’s excited about the addition of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and other upgrades to the offense.
“We’re going to feed him the ball,” Smith said. “We expect to put points on the board.”
He also said Marshall has had an immediate impact as a leader for the Bears both on and off the field.